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Today in History, April 11, 1938:

The Society for the Preservation and Encouragement of Barbershop Quartet Singing in America is founded by Owen Clifton Cash, Rupert I. Hall, and 24 other men at the Tulsa Club in Tulsa, OK. (Encyclopedia Britannica). For an example of Barbershop Quartet Harmonizing, also my favorite Beatles song.

Steam

Today in History, April 11: 1803 – Instrumental in establishing the US Patent system, John Stevens receives a patent for the first screw driven, steam powered boat, or steamboat. The son of a member of the Continental Congress, A Captain and later Colonel in the Continental Army, Stevens turned his talents to inventions after the war. Robert Fulton would win the most fame for the steamship, but it was Stevens who first tied steam power to propeller driven naval craft. He would be best known as the father of the American railroad for steam powered railroad engines. Not nearly as famous as George Washington, or other American heroes…but how much more impact did Stevens have on the world with his inventions? He and his contemporaries took us from a world of sail to paddle wheeled steamships, to ironclads, to battleships, liners, supertankers, and more.

Today in History, April 12: 1861 – South Carolina batteries fire on the Union held Ft. Sumter in Charleston Harbor. This began the American Civil War, although it will depend upon who you ask which side started the conflict. Most historians will say that Gen. P.G.T. Beauregard’s order for the bombardment began the war. Some in the South still refer to the war as the “War of Northern Aggression”, and consider that the fact the Union refused to leave the fort in what they considered sovereign South Carolina territory as the trigger. When President Lincoln took office, closed his inaugural address, ” In your hands, my dissatisfied fellow-countrymen, and not in mine, is the momentous issue of civil war. The Government will not assail YOU. You can have no conflict without being yourselves the aggressors. You have no oath registered in heaven to destroy the Government, while I shall have the most solemn one to “preserve, protect, and defend it.” 34

  I am loath to close. We are not enemies, but friends. We must not BE enemies. Though passion may have strained it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave to every living heart and hearthstone all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union, when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature.”

Today in History, April 11: 1803 – Instrumental in establishing the US Patent system, John Stevens receives a patent for the first screw driven, steam powered boat, or steamboat. The son of a member of the Continental Congress, A Captain and later Colonel in the Continental Army, Stevens turned his talents to inventions after the war. Robert Fulton would win the most fame for the steamship, but it was Stevens who first tied steam power to propeller driven naval craft. He would be best known as the father of the American railroad for steam powered railroad engines. Not nearly as famous as George Washington, or other American heroes…but how much more impact did Stevens have on the world with his inventions? He and his contemporaries took us from a world of sail to paddle wheeled steamships, to ironclads, to battleships, liners, supertankers, and more.